Armed man breaks into Colorado Supreme Court building Tuesday morning, Denver police say

CSP and DPD don't believe the incident is associated with previous threats to the Colorado Supreme Court Justices
Man breaks into Colorado State Supreme Court Building, fires gunshots and is arrested
Posted at 5:19 AM, Jan 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-03 12:55:10-05

DENVER – A man is being held on $100,000 cash bail for accusations he forced his way into the Colorado Supreme Court building early Tuesday morning with a gun and caused significant damage to the building.

Denver police said the incident does not appear to be connected to threats against justices following the state supreme court’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s primary ballot.

That man, identified as 44-year-old Brandon Olsen will be under intensive supervision by GPS with a curfew between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Olsen is not allowed to be in possession of a weapon as a condition of his bond. And he must not have any contact with two people listed under a court protection order.

The incident that landed him in court began at around 1:11 a.m. Tuesday, when someone called police dispatch to report they had been involved in a crash at 13th Ave. and Lincoln St. The caller told dispatch that a man from the other vehicle got out of his car, grabbed a pistol from the back seat and ran from the area. 

“Soon after, that same individual shot out a window on the east side of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center,” located at 1300 Broadway, according to police.

In DPD's probable cause statement unsealed later Tuesday, Olsen allegedly made his way inside after smashing a window on the first floor. Olsen encountered an unarmed security guard and held him at gunpoint as he tried to break his way into to a store/maintenance room, police said.

After forcefully obtaining the keys from the security guard, Olsen allegedly made his way to the seventh floor of the where he fired additional shots inside the building and at some point started a fire in a stairwell, according to arresting documents.

He voluntarily surrendered to police at approximately 3 a.m.

No injuries were reported from the shooting or the fire, police said, but Denver police will work to determine the extent of the damage to the building which Colorado State Patrol troopers said was “significant and extensive.”

The building's sprinklers put out the fire, according to Lt. JD Chism with the Denver Fire Department. Police would not say what was burning or how the fire started.

Olsen is being held for investigation of robbery, burglary and arson. The Denver District Attorney’s Office will make a final determination on charges.

“DPD and the Colorado State Patrol are treating this incident seriously, but at this time, do not believe this to be associated with previous threats to the Colorado Supreme Court Justices,” police said in a news release.

Family members of the suspect's ex-wife told Denver7 they believe Olsen suffered a mental health breakdown and stated that he has no strong political affiliations.

"Brandon is and has always been a wonderful, fun, loving and charismatic guy. This is devastating and we need some time to process,” the family said in a statement to Denver7.

The reports of smoke from the supreme court building had first responders blocking Broadway Boulevard at 14th Ave. just before 4:30 a.m., Denver7 Traffic Jayson Luber said.

Roads were closed while police and CSP investigated but have since reopened.

Armed man breaks into Colorado Supreme Court building Tuesday morning, Denver police say

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